The Government of Japan has contributed US$3 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Papua New Guinea, to help strengthen the vaccine cold chain and the logistics capacity in support of the country’s COVID-19 response efforts.
A joint statement from the Government of Japan and UNICEF, says up to 298 health facilities in the country will benefit from this contribution, that will help support vital monitoring aspects of the cold chain equipment (CCE) required to safely store COVID-19 vaccines.
“The monitoring system will also be useful in the long run for supporting routine immunization programme by helping prevent stock out of essential vaccines for children in the country,” the statement said.
Specifically, the funding will cover the following:
- Procurement, supply and installation of 298 remote temperature monitoring devices and their related infrastructure.
- 84 vaccine carriers for use during outreach immunization activities for hard to reach areas.
- Training of about 1,000 health care workers on the use, care, management and monitoring of this essential cold chain equipment.
Japanese Ambassador to PNG Mr. Kuniyuki Nakahara said that “at present, ensuring equitable access and swift distribution of vaccines are the common challenges for the international community towards the goal of containing COVID19.
“This Emergency Grant Aid is aimed at assisting the delivery of vaccines to each and every person who wishes to get vaccinated in all corners of PNG. “Since last year, we have supported the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), the installation of water supply facilities in schools, and the media campaign for hygiene practice to prevent the spread of COVID19 infection through UNICEF.
“ We trust that UNICEF’s wide network and rich experience will be effective in supporting vaccine distribution,” Ambassador Nakahara added.
In appreciating this funding support, UNICEF,s Representative in PNG, Dr. Claudes Kamenga, says, UNICEF welcomes this generous funding support from the Government and people of Japan.
“ It comes at a crucial time when preparations are underway in the country to receive and deploy the COVID-19 vaccine. “This support will not only contribute immensely to these preparations but will also help boost the country’s capacity to further strengthen routine immunization to increase coverage,” Dr. Kamenga said.
UNICEF has been working with the Papua New Guinea government to help prevent the spread of the virus among communities, as well as supporting the vital procurement of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
This funding is part of the broader Japanese Emergency Grant Aid of approximately US$41 million to 25 countries* in the Southeast and Southwest Asia and the Pacific.
For noting, Japan provides funds (grants, loans, etc.) and technical assistance that are useful for “development”, including peacebuilding, governance, promotion of basic human rights and humanitarian assistance, in the form of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to eligible countries and regions.
ODA includes bilateral aid to directly assist developing countries and regions, and multilateral aid, which consist of contributions to international organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, UN-WOMEN, FAO and WHO.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, UNICEF works for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.